The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance this morning that temporarily suspends the enforcement of a portion of the federal veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) requirements.
The guidance change, effective immediately, applies to extralabel drug use and the issuing of veterinary feed directives (VFD). It aims to "facilitate veterinary telemedicine during the COVID-19 outbreak," according to the FDA. Individual state VCPR requirements may continue to exist, according to the guidance.
Specifically, FDA indicated that it generally intends to not enforce the animal examination and premises visit VCPR requirements relevant to FDA regulations governing extralabel drug use in animals and veterinary feed directives (VFD). In its guidance FDA also indicated its intent to reassess its plan periodically and provide revision or withdrawal of the guidance as necessary.
“The FDA recognizes the vital role veterinarians play in protecting public health,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., said in a prepared statement. “During this time, we need to provide veterinarians with the latitude to expand the use of telemedicine in the care of animals, not only pets but also the animals that produce our food.”
View the new guidance document for full details.
Telemedicine resources available
Telemedicine can help veterinary teams protect and monitor patients remotely, and the AVMA website has resources to support your use of telemedicine. Find practical tools at avma.org/Telemedicine, including steps to implement connected care and information about technology options.
COVID-19 resources for veterinary teams
The AVMA is committed to continue providing the veterinary community the information and resources needed during this unprecedented time. Find up-to-date information on the disease and practical tools to support your team’s response at avma.org/Coronavirus.